On May 1st, 1990, homeless people in eight cities around the country seized empty (HUD) federal housing simultaneously. It was the first national coordinated homeless housing takeover ever. Skylight Pictures followed the takeovers with 12 crews in the eight cities, documenting the secret planning, the illegal occupations, and the hopeful aftermath of this bold endeavor. An official selection of the Sundance Film Festival, broadcast on PBS, Free Spee on the P.O.V. series. Released theatrically at The Film Forum (New York City).
“The takeovers of the 1990s were a direct result of growing poverty and homelessness. Now 30 years later, conditions are even worse. The current pandemic has made every social problem sharper, more urgent, and more visible. Even before the current pandemic forced us to ‘pause’ there were 140 million Americans living in poverty or paycheck to paycheck. In these present conditions, the National Union of the Homeless has been reborn, with chapters in dozens of cities. The creativity, courage and organization of the homeless leaders in Takeover is a lesson and inspiration for millions of us facing very difficult economic times ahead. As the organizers said back in 1990 ‘we only get what we are organized to take.’" Peter Kinoy, Filmmaker
Human Rights and Equality
Sign up for Our Newsletter
Get updates about the policies and topics that matter the most to you. Progressive news directly to your email.